1. This is a matter of legal rights, not a referendum on how religious people should interpret marriage. As a part of a nation built on ideals like justice and equality, I see no reason to restrict the legal rights of people to enter into the marriage contract with one another. I would like to live in a California that affords rights, not one that adds clauses into its Constitution to deny them.
2. This proposition has nothing to do with the rights of homosexual people to have children. Regardless of marital status, gay and lesbian people are already raising children. I would contend that it does our society good to have children being raised by people who are married--that the commitments made in marriage tend to help create home environments that are more stable, especially because of the way the community beyond the couple understands what it means to be married. Allowing same-sex couples to continue to marry in California will give greater stability to families, not less.
3. Heterosexual marriage does not need protection from same-sex marriage. I do believe that heterosexual marriage needs work in our culture--too many marriages end in divorce. It is a challenge to succeed in marriage--I struggle with the difficulty of separation during deployment, with my own independence, and much more. My marriage is not, however, threatened by the marriages of same-gender couples. I wonder what we believe we're protecting marriage from?
4. Our understanding of marriage, in the church and under the law, has been continuously evolving. I celebrate that, as a woman, I enjoy rights to choose my own spouse (as well as the right to choose not to have a spouse and still own property) that have not always been available to women--certainly not always in our biblical tradition. I also celebrate that marriage does not exist only for the purpose of having children. I give thanks for the love shared between couples that have chosen not to have children, and between couples that have been unable to have children. I delight in couples far beyond their child-bearing years who are able to marry. There is not an unchanged understanding of marriage stretching back through the Bible, nor through our nation's history. The Supreme Court's decision to extend the rights of marriage to same-sex couples is another change in this evolving history. There is no one "original" understanding of marriage that we can preserve.
5. I have been blessed and enriched by same-gendered couples. Both as domestic partners and as married couples, they have shown me what mutually-life-giving, committed relationships can look like. Often persevering through immense challenges, they have demonstrated how married couples can care for each other and strengthen one another. These couples have been a blessing to our communities, too. I welcome ways that we can do more to honor committed relationships and let them be an asset to our communities.
6. Opposing this proposition does not mean that clergy are required to perform same-sex marriages. As a pastor, I always have the right to refuse to marry a couple. Opposing the proposition does not compel churches to change their definitions of marriage. Already, many churches have requirements for marriage in that church--such as requiring both spouses to be members of the church. Churches can continue to define their own rules for marriage, even without this proposition.
7. This restriction of rights does not belong in our Constitution. In my mind, a Constitution exists to provide rights, not take them away.
8. I am bothered by the fear-inducing tactics used by supporters of Proposition 8. The Gospel of Jesus Christ demands that we move past our fears to dare to include more of the world in God's love. I refuse to be convinced to restrict legal rights to members of our community because I am afraid. I do believe that there is real evil in the world, and that this campaign is distracting us from work is necessary for God's kingdom. Over and over, Jesus commanded us to care for the poor. Never once did Jesus speak about same-sex marriage. Proponents of this initiative are asking us to be afraid of the wrong thing. We have a lot of work to do if we want to follow Christ's example of love for our neighbors. This Proposition will not help us in that work.